Trust for Public Land and L.L.Bean Announce Awardees of the L.L.Bean Community Award for 2023, Promoting Park Equity and Community Engagement
2023 Recipients Include an Urban Community Schoolyard in Scranton, PA, Delta Park in Greeley, CO and Two Schoolyards in Rural Oregon
San Francisco, CA — Trust for Public Land [TPL], in partnership with outdoor retailer L.L.Bean, is thrilled to announce the recipients of the fifth round of the L.L.Bean Community Award, which will support park projects this year for those communities that need park access the most. This year’s awardees are John F. Kennedy Community Schoolyard in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Delta Park in Greeley, Colorado and the Oregon Rural Schoolyards Program in Madras and Ontario, Oregon. Each project will receive a $50,000 grant to support park enhancement and community development efforts.
“We are thrilled to support these exceptional projects through the L.L.Bean Community Award. Our partnership with L.L.Bean empowers us not only to provide beautiful outdoor spaces and areas for learning and healing in Scranton, Greeley and rural schoolyards in Oregon but also to ensure that these spaces are accessible and equitable for all individuals, in all communities,” said Diane Regas, President and CEO of Trust for Public Land. “By investing in park equity and community engagement, we are working towards our vision of creating accessible and inclusive green spaces for all. We thank L.L.Bean for their ongoing commitment to this important cause.”
In a continued commitment to promoting equitable access to nature and fostering community bonds, L.L.Bean initiated a partnership with Trust for Public Land in 2018, with a substantial investment of $1 million. L.L.Bean has been instrumental in ensuring that more individuals can enjoy outdoor spaces in their respective communities, with 15 projects across twelve states, creating access to a park or public space for over 46,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of their home.
“L.L.Bean has always existed to help people experience the restorative power of being outside,” says Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L.L.Bean. “Over the past five years, our partnership with TPL has enabled thousands to have greater access to safe and welcoming outdoor spaces close to where they live and work, particularly those communities that need park access the most. I’m excited that this year’s grant winners will further our ongoing efforts to make the outdoors more accessible to all.”
The John F. Kennedy Community Schoolyard in Scranton, PA, aims to transform an asphalt parking lot into a purposeful schoolyard that allows students and residents to connect with nature. This project represents the expansion of Trust for Public Land’s work from Philadelphia, where twelve schoolyards have been successfully completed. Students are actively engaged in the design process, envisioning the transformation of this space.
Delta Park, in the heavily industrial town of Greeley, Colorado is set to become a national model for community impact. Delta Park, which serves as the “backyard” for a local immigrant and refugee community, is undergoing renovations. The current fields and basketball court will be enhanced with culturally relevant amenities through community-led development and engagement.
In Madras and Ontario, Oregon, the Oregon Rural Schoolyards Program will renovate two rural schoolyards that currently lack access to a public park and a community gathering space. These projects will transform the schoolyards into engaging spaces that promote learning, exercise, play, storytelling, and human connection. Improved shade and cooling surfaces will support safe year-round activities.
Trust for Public Land’s data shows that 100 million people, including 28 million children, or more than one in three Americans, who do not have a park within a 10-minute walk of home. And furthermore, that nationwide, parks that serve the majority of nonwhite populations are, on average, half as large—45 acres compared to 87 acres—and nearly five times as crowded as parks that serve majority-white populations.
ABOUT L.L.BEAN, INC.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. L.L.Bean is a family-owned Maine company, led by Executive Chairman, Shawn Gorman, the great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, and Stephen Smith, President and CEO. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In the past ten years, L.L.Bean has provided over $30 million to non-profit organizations. L.L.Bean currently operates 44 stores in 18 states across the United States, along with 28 stores in Japan. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.